I grew up locally, in Mahomet, Illinois. I graduated from Mahomet-Seymour High School.
I have associate (1976) and bachelor of science (1980) degrees from LeTourneau College, a Christian technical school located in Longview, Texas (now known as LeTourneau University). I also have a Master of Divinity degree (1986) from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois (now known as Trinity International University).
After getting my Master of Divinity degree I pastored a small rural church in Irasburg, Vermont for a short time in 1987.
I worked for several years (1987-1995) as a technical writer and instructor for the flight simulator manufacturer Frasca International, Inc., of Urbana, Illinois.
I returned to school to study philosophy (1995-1996) and to earn a juris doctor (law) degree (1999) at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and the University of Illinois College of Law. I graudated from the UI College of Law cum laude (with honors). During law school I earned moot court honors and participated in an environmental law moot court competition in White Plains, New York. I earned dean's list honors two semesters. I worked with the United States Department of Justice, Torts Division, Aviation and Admiralty office, during a summer internship. For my senior paper I wrote "A Proposed Constitutional Review Process."
Since passing the bar exam in 1999, I have had associations with several private law firms and have worked with state government in Springfield, before focusing on local solo practice here in Piatt County since about 2006. I have also had cases in Sangamon, Macon, Champaign, DeWitt, Christian, Moultrie, Douglas, Coles, Crawford, Ford, Vermilion, McLean, Peoria, Tazewell, Edgar, and Cook counties. I am also admitted to practice in federal bankruptcy courts.